With the federal sequestration anticipated to cut nearly a billion dollars from its budget, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is taking preemptive actions in order to maintain solvency. With the sequestration order signed, CBP has begun looking into different ways to operate more efficiently, while finding other revenue sources. The agency has already begun limiting worker overtime, and by late April will begin furloughing some 21,000 Customs agents from different ports, land borders and airports across the country for up to two weeks.
On top of this, the agency has been looking into other time saving measures. These include performing pre-inspection of imports at the country of origin and leveraging scanning technologies, which improves processing speeds, decreases downtime, and increase cargo clearing efficiency. By moving to pre-inspection cargo clearance pilots, trusted trader programs, filing automation technologies and other procedural changes, the agency can try to operate on its limited resources.
Unless the government can come to a resolution with the federal budget, Customs will have to do what they can in order to maintain their mission of ensuring safe and efficient transportation through our nation’s borders. Stay tuned as more develops